Category Archives: KSP Publications

Oct 24th: KSP Goes Big in Autumn

Keith Sharples Photography has just gone big into autumn and then some!

A while back, Foundry co-owner and living legend Jerry Moffatt got in touch with me to ask if I had any images of iconic scenes out in the Peak District that they could print up for the wall in the Foundry Café. “Only a zaggillion or two” was my reply…

Since then I sent Jerry a selection of shots to have a look at and he picked out a shot of the Popular End of Stanage in full late autumn colours. It was actually shot back in the days of film (remember them…) so I supplied a scan of said image for printing.

Well I called into the Foundry in downtown Sheffield this afternoon to check out the final result. I hadn’t really thought much about it but I was thinking 18×12 inches maybe or perhaps poster-sized. When I got there I was blown away – the Foundry café wall had disappeared under the print which can’t be far off 8 by 4 feet! It’s a monster print and it looks pretty darned good even if I say so myself.

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Nip down and take a look see for yourself if you’re in the area. Damn fine show skippy… err Jerry…

I’ve uploaded the original shot and two others below that were taken the same day. As I say, they were shot on film coming up for 11 years ago this autumn. I recall the day pretty well ‘cos I’d just nipped out to meet Steve Mac at the plantation and I only had a couple of hours but I felt that the light was so good that I couldn’t go climbing and not take the shots. Funny how you remember the minute detail related to some pixs. Glad now I stopped though. Sadly, I’ve still not done Jerry’s Traverse at the Plantation. Maybe one for this winter?!?!

Finally, I should say that smaller prints can be made if required!!

Stanage, The Popular EndStanage Plantation and the Popular EndStanage Plantation

Also posted in Climbing, Photography

Dec 16th: Last Post – oh, and Twin Pack killer deal…

Climbing 2013_December So, if you’ve not started your crimbal shopping yet (err… that’ll be me then folks!!) then you’re almost in deep do-doh… However, as Ms December (Leah Crane) from Climbing:2013 will tell you, there’s still four (on-line) shopping days left to order Climbing:2014 AND still get it in time for the big day (for UK orders) so all isn’t lost yet …

Yes folks, the elves in the dispatch department in KSP Towers will be sending out orders right up to the wire again which this year is Friday the 20th so get your calendar/year planner orders in before last knockings and the team will get said order into the system and you’ll be home and dry!! Please submit orders for all books in the KSP on-line shop by close of play on Thursday 19th for delivery pre-Xmas.

And nearly forgot, Climbing:2014 Twin Pack is now available as a killer ‘buy one, get one half price’ deal. Just the deal if you fancy a copy of Climbing:2014 for the work place as well as for home, or if you wanna say thanks to your bessie mate for all his/her top belaying all year. Click through here to go straight to the Twin Pack – that’ll put a smile on their face…DSC_9062

Also posted in General

Nov 24th: Be in My (2014) Calendar – Round-up

So, with Climbing 2014 shipping it’s time to round-up the 2013 ‘Be in My Calendar’ competition that was run on UKClimbing. This year the winner was David Kirsfelds and the three runners up were Luke Owens, Char and Owain Atkins.

This year we stayed in the Pennines for a day of classic grit for the photo-shoot with David. Whilst I know the Pennines pretty well and it was pretty easy to short-list a number of routes to go out and shoot, it did pose a challenge – how to shoot classic routes which have been photographed many times before.

There’s a write-up for the day and my thoughts on shooting the classics here

And finally, here’s a gallery of my favourite images from the day as well…

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Also posted in Be in My Calendar Competition, Climbing, Photography

Oct 28th: A Decade of Climbing and Calendars…

Whilst I’ve been working on Climbing:2014 I’ve been feeling in a rather reflective mood. Not only is Climbing:2014 my tenth consecutive climbing calendar but I’m now into my fifth decade of climbing. Both feel something of a benchmark. My intro text to Climbing:2014 reflects my feelings on both the calendar and on climbing and I figure it’s maybe worth posting it on-line…

Back in the summer of 2004 I had the bright idea of publishing a climbing calendar. At that time I didn’t know what that would entail or how to bring that simple idea to fruition. Neither did I give a second thought to where it might go in the future. To coin a phrase, I had a dream, and set off in pursuit of that dream armed with a camera and a bag of lenses, an address book, a shelf-full of guidebooks and a bunch of ideas. My mission was underwritten in my mind by a number of objectives which I came to treat as core values: produce a premium product; include an eclectic mix of striking climbing images from the UK, Europe and beyond; include images of both inspirational and aspirational climbing across the grade range; include all the disparate climbing styles; feature male and female climbers as well as heroes and non-heroes alike. And to make matters even more authentic feature seasonal images as well and take them in the month they were to appear in!

A decade on, Climbing 2014 is my tenth calendar and, save the last of the criteria listed above, my mission and core values remain as they were back in 2004. Not surprisingly, the decade has flown by in no time at all! Climbing is now even more polarised than it was: sport climbing is becoming middle-aged; many boulderers don’t own ropes, a harness nor rack; indoor climbing has a huge following and is an end in itself for a significant number; DWS (deep water soloing) is firmly established; hard trad is still alive and kicking although no longer is it just quintessentially British any more and training is no longer a dirty word, in fact, if you’re not following a programme and not using a stop watch then you’re not really training at all!

And yet, despite all this nu-skool agenda, fundamentally climbing is the same as it was, climbers getting it on with the rock! One glorious Saturday in August I drove north to the Yorkshire Dales to capture some images for the calendar. In the car, along with myself, was Paul Reeve, Steve McClure and Buster Martin. At the ripe young age of 50 Paul had just plucked an ascent of Cry Freedom (now reckoned to be F8c). Buster had done Bat Route (another F8c) earlier in the year when he was a mere 16 and Steve McClure, for his part, had nailed Batman (at F9a/+). I was struck by the disparate circumstances of us all but by the strength of the common bond that was climbing that wove us all together. I couldn’t help but take delight at that bond.

So, Climbing 2014 features yet another eclectic mix of images, some of firm classics and others of new routes that are likely to become classics of tomorrow. Climbing isn’t easy, nothing worth doing ever is. That a significant number of us are driven by the need for exploration is to our sport’s benefit. New developments are the life-blood of climbing; they fuel the inner drive of so many of us and help keep climbing fresh and exciting. I’ve no more idea what the next years will bring in climbing than the next person – but here’s to the journey wherever it takes us. And finally, thanks to all who have been involved with my calendars over the last 10 years – it’s been a blast.

So there you have it; my reflections of a decade of calendars. This being a photographic blog I can’t really leave without an image or two so here’s a few more shots of Neil and Claire on the somewhat ‘off radar’ Hanging out at Glastonbury at Castell Helen, images which were shot for the calendar on an absolute cracking summer’s day. It seems a lifetime away already…

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Also posted in Climbing, Photography

Oct 24th: Climbing 2014 is now shipping…

So, as they say, Climbing:2014 is now back from the printers and is now shipping…

Climbing:2014 is my 10th consecutive climbing calendar and man, has the time flown by or what! I’ve gone with the same landscape design that we’ve used for the last few years along with the glossy laminated covers and full bleed landscape images. There’s a year planner/poster included too within the calendar for inspiration and/or organisation. Oh yeah, and it’s the same killer price that it’s been for yonks – a quid a month plus a tad – that £12.99!

For a change the weather has been little short of amazing this summer and what a joy it’s been shooting in better weather. Not only does it lift the images but it’s opens up other venues and puts a smile on folks faces when they’re out climbing! I’m tempted to say – if only it were like that every year!

The front cover is a shot of a little know route on Castell Helen, – Hanging out at Glastonbury (E4 5a, 6a, 5c, 5b); Neil Foster is captured cutting a trad pose as he completes the traverse on P1 above a growing abyss. Kicking Climbing:2014 off with a seasonal image is a shot of a lone winter boulderer on Conan the Librarian (Font 6b+) at Mother Cap. More grit action comes in the (classic) shape of Trust (Font 7a) on the Fourth Cloud Boulder and Surform (HVS 5b) on the mighty leaning block that is Higgar Tor. Sandstone is the represented by one of the finest UK ‘red rocks’ venues which is St Bees whilst Sissy Crag down-under is the counterbalance down in the southern hemisphere.

Sport climbing action includes cave Route Left-hand (F7c+) at Gordale, Bat Route (F8c) at Malham, a mega project over on the Little Ormes and some pocket pulling madness in the Gorge du Tarn. That leaves some under-canvas action from the BBC’s (British Bouldering Championships) at Cliffhanger, some monstrously high DWS at Rhoscolyn and then some classic mountain rock from Dinas Mot in The Pass. It’s a pretty eclectic mix – as intended!

Copies of Climbing:2014 will be popping up at climbing walls/shops across the county pretty soon now. However, if you want you copy direct from the calendar stash in KSP Towers then you can order your copy from the KSP e-shop. Copies of the Climbing 2014 Year Planner/Poster can also be ordered from the KSP e-shop too.

Finally, to see the images in Climbing 2014 click here or to see the pages click through here…

Also posted in Photography

Oct 11th : The Printing Press was rolling…

Yep, the printing press was rolling when I left the works and the pages for Climbing:2014 were flying out the end…

It’s the final key stage in the production process which turns a set of images into a calendar. After the printing, there’s the glossy laminate to apply to the cover, then the trimming, the collation, the folding and saddle stitching to do and it’s a wrap – as they say. Fingers crossed, Climbing:2014 should be ready to ship in a week.

One of the benefits of using a local printer is that I get to see the ink going down onto the paper. And to a printing numpty (that’s me btw…) it’s both really interesting and pretty darned impressive. There’s more buttons and dials than you’d ever imagine and the press itself has the proportions of a giant photocopier on steroids. Ian, the printer, was very accommodating and we had an cracking conversation about climbing and photography as well as the colour of various rocks in the calendar including Sissy Crag (featured in December) down under.

As I left I went to grab a couple of snaps with my phone. “Is it ok if I grab some shots for my blog”, I asked. “Sure”, Ian said – “just make sure that you get my Villa badge in”. Given he was the man printing my calendar I figured it would be plain daft to pass any negatory comment – so I didn’t!

So here’s the snaps – complete with Villa memorabilia. Check out the proof and page pull in the viewing booth. If anyone fancies that they can name the crags in the shots drop me an email and name the two crags featured. First correct answer gets a complimentary copy of the calendar!

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Oct 1st : Climbing 2014 – gone to print…

The pre-press work has been signed-off and Climbing 2014 has now left the designers and is winging its way to the printers. That being the case, I should have a phone call in a couple of weeks max to tell me that the calendar is ready to start shipping…

Shooting the images for the calendar has been somewhere between great fun and intensely frustrating! The frustrating bit is the consequence of shooting climbing action in the UK and dropping onto a dry and/or sunny day which, here in the UK, is no small ask! The great bit comes in from going to some great places with some great climbers and watching them do some great routes. That in itself is also a tad frustrating for me as a climber – but hey, that’s my choice.

So, I guess you’ll be expecting to see some images and some of the action then – right? Yep, thought so – but all in good time! I’ve posted a snippet of the front cover below – a quick mobile grab shot from the laser proofs! The next step is when the printer proofs arrive so I’ll be back then with some more.

Meanwhile, I’ll get on the case with blogging about some of the other stuff that has been happening over the summer…

Aug 12th: Be in my 2014 Calendar Competition

Oh yeah, it’s calendar comp time again as eagle-eyed UKClimbing followers have already seen. The competition went live today and entries started flooding into my inbox almost immediately…

Climbing:2014  will be my tenth calendar and as with previous ‘Be in my Calendar’ competitions the winner will be chosen from UKC-followers and will plug straight into the spot-light on the UKClimbing page in Climbing:2014.

The five previous winners have been snapped making some great shapes on some of great routes in some great locations. Last year’s winner, Becky Lounds, got involved with Pull my Daisy and German School Girl in the Llanberis slate quarries. Craig Bailey (2012) and Ally Smith (2010) both featured on the fine Llangollen area limestone crags whilst Liam Lonsdale (2011) and Rachael Crewe (2009) were captured at St Bees and Stoney Middleton respectively. Both Becky and Liam went front cover in their respective years too.

If you’re not familiar with the competition, UKClimbing, alongside some of the biggest names in the UK climbing business, are sponsoring a page in my UK-centric climbing calendar, Climbing:2014, and I’m looking for a keen climber to be photographed in a special photo shoot for the UKC page.

The comp is as simple as it comes.

You need to be…

YOU need to be an experienced rock climber capable of leading rock routes of V Diff upwards. You must be available mid to late August for the photo shoot and will bring a sac of kit and a mate along to climb with.

Here’s the Deal…

  1. The winner (in addition to appearing on the UKC page in the calendar…) will also get a complementary 18×12” poster print (of a photo of their choice) from the photo shoot as well as a copy of Climbing:2014
  2. The winner’s mate will also get a copy of Climbing:2014
  3. A selection of images from the day will be published in a gallery on UKClimbing and/or KeithSharplesPhotography in a write-up of the day
  4. Further copies of Climbing:2014 will also go out to the three runners up

Closing date…

Midnight on Sunday 18th August 2013.

Here’s the questions…

  1. What was the first year that Keith Sharples Photography published a climbing calendar: a) 2003 b) 2004 c) 2005
  2. Shauna Coxsey has hit a purple patch in the bouldering comps. How many years has she won at Cliffhanger? a) one b) two c) three
  3. Steve McClure is never far from being in the news for cranking the hardest routes around. What is the name of his latest super route at Malham? a) Bat Route Extension b) Batman c) Robin

To enter the comp get along to UKClimbing and complete the on-line entry form. All you need to do then is keep your phone fully charged and wait a call from me after the closing date. Here a link to the UKC page with the comp entry form…

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=5711

Best of luck – and hopefully see you soon. Meanwhile, here’s a couple of shots used of Becky in last year’s calendar plus a link to the photo shoot… http://www.keithsharplesphotography.co.uk/?page_id=578

 

 

 

Also posted in Be in My Calendar Competition

Dec 18th: And the winner to the spot the DSLR image is…

And the winner to the spot the DSLR image is Matthew Vernon who, along with Rob Johnson, scored three correct answers…

Matthew emailed to say; “at the resolution you posted to your blog, there’s nothing to choose between the pictures quality-wise. So I’m afraid I guessed the difference based on what you said: the twoSheffieldParkphotos looked to have been taken on the same occasion, so I figured were the same camera. And the wreath image is a more “arty” shot, so I figured that would be the DSLR shot, and the two outside ones were smart phone pictures”. Neat deduction Matthew using the circumstantial evidence!

By comparison, Rob went down a photographic route for his analysis; “After looking closely at all three photos, I would say the wreath is the one taken with the DSLR. My reasoning is, even though all three images show an impressive level of detail, the wreath shows much more clarity and definition in the black areas of the image; for example, the letterbox. The image is much more crisp in its detail. Having said that, the 2 woodland shots are both very clear, with good colours and no discernible distortions or fringing that you might expect from such a small lens as that found on a smartphone”. I wouldn’t disagree with any of those observations Rob.

Steve Crowe also got in touch from the North East and offered his reasoning behind his two out of three correct answers; “The first two were taken for the purpose of comparing the cameras, the third was a red herring! I like the first two but not keen on the third.

1. Woodland Path – Phone
Great shades of brown with a hint of green and a splash of blue. Lots of detail to pick out. Crouched down to add an interesting foreground detail but essentially on a walk in the woods with the phone.

2. Tree Roots – DSLR
My favourite. Great shades of mostly one colour, superb composition, making me look at something that I could have walked past and not noticed. Great shades of brown and a few flecks of green. Left me wondering what the photographer was thinking at that moment, why did he stop?

3. Wreath – Phone
It looks a fairly flat image with nice colours but little composition, looks like it was taken on the spur of the moment. Nice enough but didn’t grab my attention.

So all interesting thoughts and my thanks guys for getting in touch and getting involved in the fun. And as it’s Xmas I’ll beef-up my intended prize giving and fire each of you all a copy of the calendar via Postman Pat!

Finally, I think that this little exercise has triggered a line of thinking for me and I’ll be posting a bit more on this exploring the idea of smart phone v’s DSLR shooting so please stay tuned. Meanwhile, here’s another shot from my Sheffield Park expedition over the weekend – and yes, this is another smart phone capture. This, by the way, is Chelsea Park which is the same park used by a certain Jessica Ennis for training runs…

Also posted in Photography, Uncategorized

Dec 16th: DSLR or Smart Phone? Tell the difference in the images and win a Calendar or a Year Planner

It’s been play time for me this weekend. It’s been a glorious couple of days – although not so out in the Peak (but that’s another story) and I’ve been shooting scenes in my local parks as well as the Xmas wreath my wife made last week. I was pitting my DSLR (36mb) camera against my new smart phone camera (8mb). I’ve just spend the last hour or so looking at the results and it’s been ‘interesting’ to say the least. Rather than just share some of the images with you straight out, I’ll will do that but later, I’ve just had the idea of having a bit of fun by running a quick competition to give away a copy of my climbing calendar…

So, look at the following images and then answer the same question for each – is the image captured by either the DSLR or the smart phone?

The first five correct answers will go into the KSP hat and the winner and runner-up will get a copy of Climbing 2013 and a copy of the 2013 Year Planner/Poster respectively for Xmas.

Email your answers to me at keith@keithsharplesphotography.co.uk before 22:00 tomorrow (Monday 17th) and then I’ll post the winner and runner-up asap thereafter.

Please inset Calendar Comp into the subject header. List your answers as below

Image 1 – DSLR or Smart Phone

Image 2 – DSLR or Smart Phone

Image 3 – DSLR or Smart Phone

Oh yes, and I’ll need your postal address as well please…

I should say that all the images have been uploaded for basic processing including resizing etc. into Nikon Capture.

Finally, if you want a wreath making for Xmas well I’m sorry, time’s too short for that I think…

Image 1: Sheffield Park  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image 2: Sheffield Park  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image 3: Xmas Wreath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also posted in Photography